Salvadoran police arrested two naked, dust-covered men who were found trying to dig a tunnel into a bank vault in the capital on Tuesday. The men had been working on the tunnel, which led to an abandoned house, for several days and had almost broken into the bank, said San Salvador Police Commissioner Wilfredo Avelenda.
Police officers were alerted to the attempted heist when part of the tunnel collapsed, creating a gaping hole in the street outside the bank, he said. The men ran out onto the street to try and escape but were nabbed by a police patrol.
The pair, identified as Miguel Angel Crespin, 22, and Rafael Alberto Cerna, 18, apparently stripped off their clothes because of the high temperatures inside the tunnel. The weather in San Salvador has been especially hot in recent weeks, and investigators searching the tunnel said they could only stand a few seconds underground because of the heat, said Carlos Rugamas, a spokesman for police.
Rugamas said the tunnel stretched for 75 meters (246 feet), zigzagging and varying in width from more than a meter (4 feet) to barely 50 centimeters (20 inches). Avelenda said authorities had been watching the area closely after neighbors complained of mysterious noises, AP reports.